SKELETAL REMAINS - Fragments Of The Ageless

March 10, 2024, a month ago

(Century Media)

Greg Pratt

Rating: 8.0

review black death skeletal remains

SKELETAL REMAINS - Fragments Of The Ageless

Skeletal Remains is one of those bands cursed with a name that just goes in one eyeball and out the other, prompting a Metal Archives search more than I'd care to admit. But, yes, yes, Skeletal Remains, one album on Dark Descent a while back before jumping over to big ship Century Media, Dan Seagrave cover art, death metal, California. 

Got it, and with opener “Relentless Appetite” I'm brought back to the band's no-frills professional DM, the mid-to-fast speeds they got comfortable in a couple albums ago, the awesome, sturdy solos, the songwriting skill, it all adds up. “To Conquer The Devout” goes into some slimy Morbid Angel terrain, and it's awesome; “Forever In Sufferance” threatens to fall apart in the middle, and that's the sort of chaos I like in my DM. Songs like late-album highlight “Void Of Despair” just hit the mean medium median of this strain of death metal perfectly, although it's so perfect the band's personality suffers a little (another reason why I'm always looking them up on Metal Archives). 

So there's that, and I'd like to hear a bit more murk in the production as this threatens to get to that soulless place where death metal goes to die, but it's not quite there. And when the band taps into the epic grandeur of death/doom, as on the 7:10 “Unmerciful” and massive instrumental closer “...Evocation (The Rebirth)”, there we have it, the glory that they're capable of, and then it gets grinded and ground to dust before another divebombing solo melts faces into the good, dark night. 

Sturdy, solid, enjoyable, well-crafted death metal album here.

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